‘In the Shade of the Sun’ at the Mosaic Rooms in London

Mona Benyamin, Distant Relatives 2020

The Mosaic Rooms announces “In the Shade of the Sun,” a collective exhibition that explores the intricate relationship between politics and aesthetics through the creative lenses of a dynamic new generation of Palestinian artists. This compelling exhibition features fresh multimedia installations by artists Mona Benyamin, Xaytun Ennasr, and Dina Mimi, along with an innovative sound performance commissioned from Makimakkuk.

Across various mediums, such as film, installation, music, and gaming, “In the Shade of the Sun” assembles artists who are pioneering a novel language to engage with and reflect upon Palestine. Their individual practices converge as they craft works that resonate with future generations amid the ongoing crises of today, embracing both gentle expressions and radical political stances, from the absurd to the poetic.

This group of artists is brought together under the guidance of artists Ruanne Abou-Rahme and Basel Abbas as part of their “Bilna’es (in the negative)” project, an initiative aimed at expanding the horizons of collaboration through an interdisciplinary approach. “Bilna’es (in the negative)” emerged from a desire to support artistic communities in Palestine and beyond, experimenting with resource redistribution and alternative support structures. The exhibition’s first room features a newly commissioned short film by Mona Benyamin.

Benyamin’s film adopts the format of television news, presenting a dysfunctional broadcast with segments reenacting various daily Palestinian crises. These segments are narrated by the news anchor with exaggerated emotional displays. The film’s cast includes the artist’s parents, who assume multiple roles, from presenters to subjects, and even the audience, creating a continuous loop where they are the storytellers and consumers of their own narratives.

Xaytun Ennasr

In the multimedia installation “Revolution is a Forest that the Colonist Can’t Burn,” Xaytun Ennasr celebrates trees as symbols of resistance and devotion, extending from Palestine to the Amazon. Through the language and aesthetics of radical softness, the installation explores the concept of a revolutionary connection with nature. Trees are portrayed not as mere resources to be exploited but as beings that reciprocate love. This relationship is conveyed through various media, including drawings, ceramics, living olive and fig trees, and an interactive digital experience.

Dina Mimi’s project, “The Melancholy of This Useless Afternoon,” investigates the connections between fugitives and smugglers, exploring their shared gestures and their relationship with being seen. Fugitives work to remain hidden, taking risks through escape and flight, while smugglers employ stealth, using gestures to conceal items, often close to their bodies. The work delves into the practice of bird smuggling from Jordan to Palestine and questions how the movements of these individuals can become routes and acts of decolonization or revenge.

Dina Mimi, The Eyes That Never See Still 2021 Video 11 minutes

Independent singer-songwriter, MC, DJ, and electronic music creator Makimakkuk will present a newly commissioned soundwork during the exhibition’s opening. This layered piece will explore themes of identity, colonization, war, love, and relationships through electronic music, sound design, spoken word, rap, and singing. Following the exhibition, Makimakkuk will embark on a tour in the UK.

Independent researcher and curator Adam Haj Yahya has been invited by Bilnae to contribute a text to the exhibition and will co-curate the accompanying public program.

This exhibition is a part of The Mosaic Rooms’ 2023 program, which aims to explore questions of active solidarity, contemplating ways to continue fostering critical and creative artistic practices through collaboration, hosting, and building sustainable support networks. Support for the exhibition is provided by Arts Council England, the Bagri Foundation, and the Henry Moore Foundation.


About The Mosaic Rooms

The Mosaic Rooms are located at the intersection of Cromwell Road and Earl’s Court Road in Kensington, London. This prime location is just a short stroll away from renowned institutions such as the V&A and Design Museum. As a non-profit art gallery and bookshop, The Mosaic Rooms is committed to championing contemporary culture not only from the Arab world but also from diverse global regions. Their mission is realised through a range of activities, including contemporary art exhibitions, interdisciplinary events encompassing film screenings, discussions on current affairs, talks, book launches, and more. We also host artist residencies and offer comprehensive learning and engagement programs. Notable partnerships have included collaborations with esteemed institutions like Chisenhale Gallery, Delfina Foundation, ICA, Shubbak Festival, London Design Festival, and others. The Mosaic Rooms are a project under the A. M. Qattan Foundation, further underscores their commitment to fostering cultural exchange and artistic exploration.

Location: The Mosaic Rooms, London, UK

Dates: September 6 to December 22, 2023



SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.